Monday, April 9, 2012
Alexander Alekhine: No, he didn't choke.
Photo from ChessBase.com, not mine.
Recent posts at http://www.chessforums.org/ have prompted me to create the blog entry I have always wanted to: One about Alexander Alekhine’s mysterious death. His entire life was shrouded in a sort of clouded veil but his death, I believe, is a downright conspiracy.
I’m pretty darned well-read when it comes to Alekhine. One guy who may surpass my own knowledge is GM Kevin Spraggett, who also thinks that Alekhine didn’t choke on any meat when he died. You can find his blogs on the subject here:
Also, the ChessBase article outlining the subject:
As you can deduce for yourself having read those articles, the world-champion chess match between Alekhine and Botvinnik was officially put into motion on Saturday, the 23rd of March, 1946. Alekhine was found dead the next morning, having “choked” on meat.
While Alekhine was born in Russia, he was playing for France. It is my belief that the Russians were terrified that a defector, Alekhine, would destroy Botvinnik, one of their own, over the board. Botvinnik was good, yes, but was he good enough to beat one of the strongest tacticians ever to grace the game of chess? They couldn’t take that chance.
The Russians, instead of risking one of their own being embarrassed by Alekhine, decided to snuff-out the problem permanently. If his death were just a total coincidence, and positively of natural causes, I likely wouldn’t bat an eye at it.
But it wasn’t.
If you look at the photo, which I snagged from ChessBase (it can be found on a ton of sites, though), you’ll see that Alekhine appears peaceful, as if he just dropped off in his sleep. One second there, the next, not.
You don’t need to be a medical doctor or a forensic scientist to know that people, when choking on food, don’t just lay back and let it happen. Therefore, there is just no way that his chess table would still be set up like that, that his dinner tray would still be arranged, and no way he’d be laying there peacefully.
Also, they claimed he was holding another piece of meat in his hand when they found him. Really? Seriously? Minute after minute went by while Alekhine couldn’t breathe, dying, and he still thought it best to keep the next bite handy? Crime Scene Fail is what that photo depicts.
A trained rescue diver can hold their breath for a few minutes longer than regular folks. For the rest of us, I have to assume that three minutes without breathing would be virtually impossible. But let’s go extreme and say he lasted a whole five minutes, choking on that piece of meat.
You mean to tell me he didn’t flop around and panic? That he just sat there calmly? C’mon, now.
According to one site, the brain itself begins to die in under six minutes when choking, and incurs irreversible damage in ten minutes. That sounds about right, to me, so my five-minute-suffering may be possible. It didn’t happen in Alekhine's case, though.
Now, look at the picture of his death scene at the top of this blog again. Does that look like a man who choked on meat? No, it doesn’t, not a single bit. That is a picture of a man who was positioned like that after he was killed.
More Weirdness from the Photo
Note the aforementioned peg chessboard off to the side, in start position. I guess it’s feasible that he would eat before studying but again, a choking, thrashing man would have kicked that shit all over the place. There’s no way it’d still be intact, just two-feet from where he “choked to death”. Again, I’m no M.D., but that seems way, way too far-fetched to believe.
Also, he was in a hotel. Why would he eat dinner in a coat? It isn’t like he was watching the gas bill. He doesn’t look very comfortable, at all, if you ask me. I don’t know too many cats who keep their bulky jackets on while eating indoors. Is it possible? Of course. It just doesn’t seem very probable.
Also note that all his plates are completely empty. How unfortunate that he choked on the very *last* piece of meat that was available to chew. Yeah, right. Meat usually comes with a side, right? Potatoes, vegetables – something. Who the hell eats the sides first and the meat last?
No, he was done with dinner and out for a walk, like it says in Mr. Spraggett’s blog. It was only later, after he was gunned down, that he was taken back to his room and posed like that.
This is just my opinion, of course, and I have no proof to support my case past the circumstantial stuff I’ve outlined here. Very compelling evidence would have to surface in order for me to change my mind, though; I'm pretty set on my opinion in the case of Alexander Alekhine.
Our fourth world chess champion was murdered, plain and simple.